From Emojis To Hashtags – Why you should be using them!
Emojis and Hashtags are now popular methods to get your brand’s message across. I remember the day I wandered onto creating Proboard forums in the early 2000s and every time a new set of emoticons and smileys were released. At the time they gave my forum members their voice and individual flare amongst the pixelated text-based community.
It took a while for emojis to catch on, and even at times, some people use to get a bit irate when someone sent messages with them, claiming that textspeak wasn’t a proper language.
“Social Media Copywriting Is Just As Important As Your Website!”
Things have changed now, and emojis and even hashtags are classed as a common method of communication. A study by Riordan found that using non-facial text-based emojis such as hashtags helped make social media producers’ content easier to understand. Hashtags can make your social media content easier to find and map it with relevant content. It can also be a good way to promote your other content, such as blogs, and service pages, as individuals can use hashtags like a directory – and a lot easier than using listing sites sometimes as it’s more directive.
Mohammand 2012, found that people could relate better to small messages on social media such as Twitter as people could hashtag emotions, such as #happy, #sad, to more complex and unique expressions such as #HappyHumpDay, joining popularly known events with expressions to take mapping a step further.
I’ve had people find my content when surfing through popular hashtags, from current trends, hobbies, and current mood. It’s amazing how many people I wouldn’t have met and learned about if I avoided hashtags completely.
It took a bit longer for picture-based emojis to catch-on, but now they are a method for people to help relate with the content writer and marketer. When an emoji is used, it’s even theorized that a part of our brain automatically translates it, almost as if we are seeing a person’s actual facial expression.
Just like the power of actual in-person facial expressions, Lohmann, Pyka, & Zanger, 2017, found that emojis can offer a knock-on effect to the readers in the form of emotional contagion. This is where an individual’s emotions and behavior can influence another’s. So, when a happy emoji is used it can actually help make your readers feel a glimpse of happiness too – how cool is that?
According to Zazzle Media, emoji have can make a post 33% higher chance of being shared and interacted with and a 57% higher rate of being liked.
But emojis and hashtags aren’t just a sure-fire way to get your customers engaging with you and understanding your message clearer; it can help you understand your client better. When emojis are used in relation to your services and products by clients it can also help map how they think and feel about the things you are trying to promote. If you’re trying to figure out whether a product makes a customer happy or sad, checking if they’ve used emojis can be a method of measuring their emotional reaction (Jaeger, Vidal, Kam & Ares, 2016; Vidal, Ares & Jaeger, 2016).
If you’re new to using emoji’s hashtags, it’s worth checking out what other people use within your industry, to help map your social media messages with relevant information. You’ll probably find that certain emojis are more associated with what you do and can help your clients find you better. There are also other opportunities to look out for throughout the year, from seasonal emojis and hashtags to international and national days that you can tag alongside related content.
Now the real question is: Are hashtags or emoji’s better at marketing your content?
Actually, both can be helpful. Some people respond more to images over text hashtags, and other people prefer hashtags. It’s about getting the right balance and not overdoing it, but most social media promotional posts can include both.
What’s the next step?
Get creative and create your own!
It may sound silly, but making your own hashtag to go alongside a campaign you’re hosting can help get people to find your content. So, if you’re doing a particular promotion one month, all posts with the correct information can be found via your unique hashtag just by clicking on it. Throwing in competitions and other ways to get your clients to interact with you and your brand can help even get the hashtag to go viral. Using personalized hashtags also helps to separate you from competitive companies, and when done right, can get you noticed more.
Riordan, M. A. (2017). The communicative role of non-face emoji: Affect and disambiguation. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 75-86
Mohammad, S. (2012). #emotional tweets. In The First Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM) (pp. 246–255). Association for Computational Linguistics.
Lohmann, K., Pyka, S. S., & Zanger, C. (2017). The effects of smileys on receivers’ emotions. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34 (6), 489-495
Jaegar, S. R., Xia, Y., Lee, P., Hunter, D. C., Beresford, M. K., & Ares, G. (in press). Emoji questionnaires can be used with a range of population segments: Findings relating to age, gender and frequency of emoji/emoticon use. Food Quality and Preference.